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Hope In The Midst

In the midst of chaos and confusion, it is essential to cling to hope. Today on the podcast, join Jeff, Don and Jerrad as they discuss the importance of choosing the emotions we dwell on as well as finding the good from the challenges we face.


Transcription of Podcast


Jerrad:

You know, for me, I’m recharged when I walk out of there on Sunday after service. So I think that this is going to be a huge test of faith for a lot of people, but I think people are eventually going to… We have to turn to faith right now anyway because it’s the only way we’re going to make it through this.

Speaker 2:

Your life, your journey starts now.

Jeff:

Well, welcome back to another Journey Coaching podcast, where we care deeply about real and authentic relationships. This is Jeff. I’m your host today. I’m sitting with an old friend, Jerrad. I don’t know how old though. Not that old.

Jerrad:

Not that old.

Jeff:

But kind of.

Jerrad:

I’m getting to that age where I’m starting to feel a little bit older. I feel like I might be growing up a little bit.

Jeff:

That’s right. But we have worked together for probably about five or 10 years. Has it been 10?

Jerrad:

Eight.

Jeff:

Eight?

Jerrad:

Eight, yeah.

Jeff:

I have a business, and Jerrad works at another business that is a key vendor of ours, and has provided us great service, really good service. Yeah, we can even give them a little plug, I think. Albert Auto Service is a great mechanic. You’ll see Jerrad at one of their locations if you walk in. Can we do that? Can we give it a little plug?

Jerrad:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jeff:

There you go. Then Don.

Don:

Good morning, Jeff.

Jeff:

Don’s a new friend. I have known Don for coming up on a year, and that’s always great to have you in the room and be talking about things that matter, so thanks for doing that.

Don:

Fun to be here.

Jeff:

So anyway, well let’s jump in. There’s a lot going on in the world today, and we’re going to try to address those things just head on and just be honest and real. I mean, just yeah, different times. Do you want to jump into that a little, Jerrad? What are you thinking? What are you feeling, man? What’s going on here and how do we take what you’re feeling then move to something different or better? Yeah, what’s going on?

Jerrad:

It’s crazy. That’s the best word I can come up with to describe any of it. I called my dad the night before last and we were talking a little bit. He’s going to be 78 this year, and he said the same thing. “In all my years never have we seen anything like this.”

Jeff:

Yeah, yeah. Give us a little insight, because we know there’s a lot going on. We know that. We know all the things. But just again, guy-to-guy, let’s just be honest guys here sitting around the table. How are you feeling? Just sitting back there going, “Oh, just another day at the office. Everything’s rosy.” Maybe not that. How are you and your wife feeling about this?

Jerrad:

It’s been like that for quite a while. We’ve all known for six weeks, a month, whatever that this is on the way. It’s coming.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Jerrad:

To finally, within the last two days, it’s just been straight on top of you.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Jerrad:

My wife has been struggling with it, just this impending doom feeling and not even wanting to get up and go to work type thing. She makes herself do it. I think some of that has to do with the fact that none of our kids are at home right now. It’s spring break, they had stuff planned.

Jeff:

Well, tell us about that a little bit, because you’ve got three kids, right?

Jerrad:

Yup.

Jeff:

They’re not sitting all in your living room, which again, with schools closed and stuff, having kids all sitting in the living room is another dynamic, for another day, another audience, but you guys have some kiddos and they’re not sitting in your living room right now, so talk about that a little bit, how that feels.

Jerrad:

Yeah, with our oldest, we’ve kind of gotten to that point where we’ve put faith and trust in her because she has moved out of state and we don’t see her on a super regular basis. We just pray that she’s making the right decisions while she’s there. With the younger ones, like I said it’s spring break, we were expecting them to be gone for a week and then back, now they’re talking about maybe extending their visit out there a little bit longer.

Jerrad:

It’s tough because at the same time we want them home so we feel like we have some kind of control over what’s going on.

Jeff:

Yeah, exactly.

Jerrad:

But at the same time, if we’re going to be cooped up for a month together, maybe putting that off another week is not such a bad idea.

Jeff:

Right. Right, right, right.

Don:

A little peace and quiet for mom and dad, right?

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Kind of give you guys an opportunity to catch up on life and just have a little one-on-one conversations.

Jerrad:

Yeah, yeah. We’ve only got two years before we’re going to be empty nesters again, or not again, be empty nesters for the first time. Maybe this next month will be a good taste of what’s coming.

Jeff:

Right. Well when you say that, we were talking on an earlier podcast about picking our emotions. It’s so important any time, but especially now because it is that glass is sort of half empty, half full on steroids right now, right, because you can look at the glass is half empty with all the news and all the… Turn on any station, but it’s also just emails that keep coming through. It’s like, “Oh, my gosh. Okay, we get it. Yeah, we get there’s something going on here that is really different that we need to address.”

Jeff:

Yeah, it’s just one of those things where we can look at that and go, “Oh…” Or we can sort of pick that emotion and let’s use the whole idea of joy, peace and joy, but joy. Actually maybe we need to get to peace before we get to joy, right, a little bit?

Jerrad:

Yeah.

Jeff:

So some peace and joy, and to pick that emotion is just, sometimes it’s easier to do that when it’s rainbows and sunshine and chirping birds and everything. You sort of have those pictures in your mind versus some of the things that again, they’re just different.

Don:

Nobody ever promised us it was going to be easy, and neither does the Lord promise it’s going to be easy. He warns us that we’ll go through storms and whatnot, which has made me think as far as you were concerned, Jerrad, I know when I met you at your church last year, I think you’re now a leader of a church, so what kind of feedback are you getting? Kind of two-sided question, are you getting pushback from people that are upset because church, I know they know it’s been done by the state of Iowa, you guys have to. I go to a large church also. We’re done.

Don:

What kind of things are going on with you guys at your particular church? What are your parishioners and people thinking? What are the comments you’re hearing at the church?

Jerrad:

It’s tough because even, you ask my wife or any of my kids, I’m kind of the eternal optimist.

Don:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jerrad:

I usually have a pretty sunshiny outlook on most things, but that’s kind of really taken a beaten over the last few days. As far as from the church standpoint, I’m not an active member of the board anymore, but once an elder, always an elder.

Don:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:

Good thing or bad thing, right?

Jerrad:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I do head up the safety portion of the church as well, and I’m part of our emergency response team and stuff there. I’ve actually been pretty active in getting in touch with the church via email and stuff like that over the last week saying, “Hey, what’s our plan?”

Don:

Right.

Jerrad:

We’ve been having Wednesday night Lenten meals and stuff like that, and pretty big turnouts. As soon as we heard the whole 50 people or less in a gathering, I put another email out, “What are we planning on doing? Are we canceling this? What are we going to do for services?” Finally have heard that from here on out the meals have been suspended, and we are going to be doing live stream of our services on Sunday and stuff like that.

Jeff:

It’s a change of paradigm, right? I mean, it’s a whole mindset. The whole mindset just changes.

Jerrad:

It is. Because everybody likes that feeling of community and being together, if it is only once a week, but at the same time I’m hoping that we see some good out of it. For five or six years we’ve been talking about ways to reach people that we’re not reaching that aren’t sitting in the seats, and I’m hoping that by doing some streams and stuff like this that we might reach some people that are a little bit nervous about coming and putting their butts in one of the seats.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Amen.

Jeff:

And it’s like today, so we’re sitting here today, there are four of us in a room. I introduced Don and Jerrad. Jen is here with us too running some audio, and then Annie is actually joining us virtually by Zoom. So you know, we’re all here whether we’re… Jen’s not chatting a whole lot. She’s just smiling over here.

Don:

She’s running all the buttons.

Jeff:

Yeah, hitting all the buttons.

Don:

Keep us all mixed.

Jeff:

Annie, I hope, feels like she’s in the room even though she’s not physically in the room.

Don:

Annie’s a little under the weather today. She’s struggling. Got a bad cough. I feel sorry for her.

Jeff:

Yeah. Using those cough drops and stuff.

Don:

Poor thing.

Jeff:

But you know, so it’s cool to get together, and the sun’s out, right?

Jerrad:

Yeah, it’s beautiful outside.

Jeff:

It’s beautiful outside. So we’re here. So yeah, if we look at, and talking to Jerrad about the church, we’re here as the church and we’re talking about those things that matter, and we’re talking about our lives, and we’re talking about how does God play into that? How do we fit into God’s story, which is what Journey’s about, sharing stories and strengths and weaknesses, and worldview and that kind of thing.

Jeff:

So could this be a time when we, however we do it, we just connect more.

Don:

I want to go back to what Jerrad said just a minute ago.

Jeff:

Go ahead, yeah.

Don:

I just had a thought. Jeff knows that I have sporadic random thoughts and I guess-

Jeff:

Here comes another one here now.

Don:

If I don’t say them, I’ll forget them, but when you were talking about reaching people, I like how you said that you might not normally reach and getting some butts in some seats. I like that idea, and I’m on board with you on that, but here’s something that I noticed last summer once I became involved with my first life group, and then we broke for the summer. It was like trying to collect sheep to get them back. Give me your thoughts on now basically nationwide, we’re all leaving the church.

Jeff:

Well we’re leaving everything. It could be jobs, working virtually [crosstalk 00:11:42] yeah, we’re working virtually from home or whatever.

Don:

[crosstalk 00:11:44] because it seems like watching that happen to my life group and others talking about it, so like, “Yes, we lost three or four. They said it’s not going to work. They can’t make it back together.” So has anybody thought about the concept that I go to a large church. There’s thousands of people there. Are we going to lose any, Jerrad? I like what you said. I’m with you, that we might reach people that are going to go, “Hey, I can’t go to my church. Jeff, I don’t see you go to church a lot, would you like to come over to my house and watch what my church says online because I can’t go to church anymore.” It could be a leverage or basic tool-

Jeff:

Or watch online together, right. You watch online separately and then talk about.

Don:

Has anybody thought about the concept that some of these people might get real comfortable, because I heard it said yesterday, “Well, since I tithe online and now we’re going to go live stream,” I’m not making this up, “Why would I want to go back to church if this isn’t my church?” Are we going to lose some butts in some seats?

Jerrad:

I’m sure we will. Even when things are perfect, it’s super easy to… You know, like for us with the kids being involved in activities and stuff like that, there’s a lot of weekends when we’re not in town so we don’t make it to church all the time. One week, two weeks, the third week we’re back, but it’s like this is our rest and relaxation day. You’re gone for more than a couple of times and it’s very easy to then drift away.

Don:

I know. That’s what I’m saying. I think we’re all missing the fact that this could be devastating to churches in America.

Jerrad:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Don:

People are going to get comfortable at home on Zoom and live streams and go, “Pfft.”

Jerrad:

But there again, like I said, there’s something, once you’ve been a part of a church, and especially, it doesn’t have to be a large church because I mean, smaller churches are super tight knit anyway, but just be involved in that community feel. For me, I’m recharged when I walk out of there on Sunday after service, so I think that this is going to be a huge test of faith for a lot of people, but I think people are eventually going to… We have to turn to faith right now anyway, because it’s the only way we’re going to make it through this.

Don:

I need my people. I want to go back. Yeah, I need them, because I’m a single person. That’s really important to me. We talked about it on the podcast before you got here. I’ve only been sober for a year and a half and really got connected to church and Christ and everything. This has been a struggle for me to know I can’t go hang out with my people on the weekends. You know what I’m saying? It was kind of sketchy ground for me, but it’s by the grace of God that I got sober, and I’m still sober today. It’s the longest period in my entire life, so I can’t wait to plug back in and the shaking of the hands that we can’t do even if we were to went last weekend, we couldn’t even shake hands. That’s not working. I can almost get angry about it.

Jeff:

Right. And what-

Don:

What are you laughing at, Jen? She knows that I’m angry. That’s not a secret.

Jerrad:

Well I’m thinking the other side too you know, that God uses everything for God.

Don:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jerrad:

So even in this next 30 to 60 days, this shadowy valley that we’re going to be walking through, I think that there is going to be people that are going to be recharged into having to start to rely on their faith again.

Don:

Amen, I like that.

Jeff:

And maybe to seek out that faith and to seek out God if they’ve never really looked at that, or if they’ve walked away from it too possibly also. So it’s one of those things that yeah, we don’t like the way it feels, but again, can we sort of choose to move towards peace and joy, and how can we do that? Any ideas, guys, on how we can really move towards peace and joy?

Don:

Well, like Jerrad said, they’re going to be so afraid triggered another thought. What really brought me this time, and you’ve heard it in earlier podcasts that I’ve done, Jeff, is fear. I say fear is a liar. Fear got me in October of ’18 again for the 20th-some time when I almost died again from alcohol poisoning.

Don:

At that point in my life, I got to be honest and say I think my fear factor was the highest it’d ever been, and that’s the first thing I did. Now you say that people might start looking, I like that, because yeah. And you’ve heard me say in podcasts, I hope people don’t have to get as afraid as I did to find Jesus. So I don’t want this to sound strange or weird, but maybe this will shell shock some people into going, “You know, this has been pretty overwhelming, and I’m under a lot of pressure here” and you said about your wife’s a little angry, everybody is. Good. Maybe the churches will overflow when we open back up again. Maybe, right?

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

I think this could possibly lead to a growing relationship with Christ.

Jeff:

And what can we do in the meantime? I think that’s a question. What can we do in the meantime?

Don:

Tell people about him. tell people about him.

Jeff:

What do you think, Jerrad? Some things that come to mind?

Jerrad:

Yeah, just try to stay positive. Right now everything in the media’s all this negativity.

Jeff:

Oh, so much. It’s like a fire hose, right? A fire hose of just, you’re just kind of like, “Whoa.” So you’ve kind of got to walk away from that.

Jerrad:

But yeah, you’re not hearing the stories about the people that have had it and they’re getting over it and had zero to 5% symptoms type thing, and you’re also not hearing about other areas of the world, they’re 30 to 60 days ahead of us on this, and they’re all of a sudden starting to come back to some amount of normalcy. So there is light at the end of the tunnel at least, trying to find some of that information out there.

Jeff:

Yeah. What do you think about, going back to churches, what are some things, and again Jerrad, that churches can do. Because you’ve been involved in big church stuff. You’ve been involved in small group stuff. Any thoughts there, maybe a thing or two that could be done immediately to just connect people, to kind of get people moving towards joy and peace?

Jerrad:

I really don’t know right now. Like I said, we all have to remember that everything that happens is done for good.

Don:

Everything happens for a reason.

Jerrad:

Yeah. So relying on that, like I said, knowing that there is better to come, that we can make it through. As far as the church stuff goes, with everything being shut down for the next couple weeks, even trying to do small group stuff I think’s going to be difficult because people are going to be gun shy about trying to get together even in smaller sections.

Jeff:

Now, here’s the cool thing about this, again, trying to look for what is cool is technology, right? Because as we’re sitting here and we’re looking at Annie on the screen, I mean, could small groups get together and use an internet platform?

Jerrad:

Yeah, it’s funny, it’s coincidence, but I was just introduced to Zoom like three weeks ago.

Jeff:

So there you go.

Don:

Geez, I feel pretty smart. I got it a year ago and I’m old.

Jeff:

Now there is another thing for those folks, and I would put myself in this category that’s not the real tech-savvy kind of person. There is that thing called a phone, and there actually are even landlines that you can pick up and talk to people. I’m just saying, there are ways to be connected here.

Jeff:

But yeah, I just wonder there along that line of just reaching out to another person just to start building some positive connections there, maybe a group like you say, a group of people that could connect. How cool could that be?

Don:

I’m still waiting to hear back. I got an email this morning when I pull in your parking lot out here. The guy that leads our Tuesday night men’s bible study said, “Guys, I hate to miss out on tonight, but I have some elderly relatives that I’m going to be going and visiting,” and they’re 70 and older, and that’s what they’ve been talking about, if you’re 60 and older it could affect you more. “So I’m going to have to stay away for now just because I don’t want to infect them.”

Don:

I feel bad for him because he just loves bible study and he’s a great leader, but he is forced to limit himself if we wants to go see his elder relatives. That makes me want to just pray for him right away and say, “Oh, what a shame. I feel bad for Mark, and hope that this can pass so he can come back,” because we depend on him. He’s a phenomenal leader.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Yeah.

Jerrad:

Well and going back to what you said, Jeff, about the one-on-one, getting back in touch with people you may have not talked to in a while.

Jeff:

Right. If this is four weeks, I can’t sit and watch TV for four weeks.

Jerrad:

Yeah, I mean, there’s only so many reruns of basketball games we can watch, right? In my life, my excuses to people all the time is, “I’m so busy. My kids are so busy. They’ve got so much going on.”

Jeff:

Right.

Jerrad:

Well, guess what? They don’t have anything going on. I don’t have anything going on. So it’s a good time to pick up a book, pick the the Bible, call somebody, talk to old friends.

Jeff:

Communication, what a concept.

Jerrad:

Exactly.

Jeff:

Well, at Journey, that’s an important core part of what Journey is about, not only this podcast but this seven-session little coaching outline that we have for people to share their stories, and have sort of a guideline to walk through, because let’s face it, it’s easy to just get stuck in what’s happening now or the negative or again, going back to that last game that was on TV and talking about that. But have this guideline that really helps you move towards some really healthy conversations. How cool could that be too?

Don:

Right.

Jeff:

Well, any other words of wisdom, guys? We probably should wrap up now, and appreciate you both being here today. Any other thoughts?

Don:

I like Jerrad’s last thought, pick up your bibles.

Jeff:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Don:

Call a friend or relative. I’ll say that with conviction, because you know the situation with my kids.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Not so much for the good, but we just, it’s time for them to start picking up the telephone because they’re not busy.

Jeff:

All right. Right.

Don:

Especially the Good Book.

Jeff:

Very cool stuff, guys. Well, thanks again for coming in. Don, it was fun. Jerrad, thanks for joining us for the first time here. A little bit different [crosstalk 00:22:58]. Yeah, very cool.

Don:

Good to see a new face. I was going to look at Jeff a lot.

Jeff:

At Journey we’re interested in those conversations that matter to you, and your relationships, and we’re interested in that regardless of those days when it’s sunny and those days that seem a little cloudy. If you want to grow, if you want to really take some steps to move from fear to peace and joy, we’d love to help you. You can check out picking up and ordering that seven-session Journey coaching booklet on the Journey website at journeycoaching.org.

Jeff:

Regardless though, you can just pick up the phone. For those tech folks out there, log in to Zoom or whatever platform you can to connect with people virtually, and hey, let’s move forward well. So thanks again for listening.

Announcer:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Speaker 2:

Your life, your journey starts now.

Negative Political Climate

The idea of 2 parties wrestling through politics isn’t a hard image to visualize. What is going on in the political sphere is creating this dichotomy of unrest in our nation with both parties seeing their own way as the only solution to the problems our nation is facing. In the face of a gloomy political climate, Jeff and Terry offer encouragement to those who are bombarded by the negatives.


Transcription of the Podcast


Jeff:

If we’ve got an issue going on, if I’ve got a business issue and I have got a situation where there’s something I’ve got to solve, I bring people around the table and we sit down and we come up with solutions for that. Welcome to another Journey Podcast. Today we are going to take a deep dive into politics but in a way that’s maybe a little different because we all know that there is a huge, huge negative vibe out there. And what we want to do with this podcast in the midst of all this political unrest feuding, is really offer some encouragement to family and friends that may be on opposing sides to maybe offer encouragement to people that are just bombarded by the negatives that are going on.

Jeff:

So yeah, we’re going to do that today. We’ve actually got Terry Carlson here and Terry is a licensed full time counselor and we thought maybe that would be a good perspective to have because really we can draw some parallels between the whole political climate and sometimes in marriage where you have couples that are fighting. So we thought we try to draw some parallels there and-

Terry:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Jeff:

… some things. So welcome Terry.

Terry:

Hi. Well, and I think you’ve got a really good point there. It’s really difficult when family and friends are on opposing sides. I remember growing up my mom and dad would go voting and they always talked about canceling each other’s votes out because one would vote for one party and one would vote for the other, but they’d still go do it and they smile and laugh as they did that. But I think you’re right, I think there’s just a lot of negativity out there now.

Jeff:

Right, right. Well, and I think years ago we could almost smile and laugh about some of those things and I think it seems to have gotten to a level now where the tone is just so deeply negative that the hope is here that today we can offer a little bit of constructive and positive solutions and ideas for addressing some of these things. So yeah, why don’t we dive in? I think one of the things that we have to say is that oftentimes… And you tell me if this is on target off target or somewhere in the middle, but oftentimes we look at differences, but don’t we really need to look at what we have in common, whether you’re dealing with couples or whether we are trying to solve problems from a political standpoint.

Terry:

Absolutely. I think sometimes if you can get down to what do we have in common and what do we really want at core? I think a lot of times what happens is we fight over, we come up with a solution to the problems that we think are out there and we fight over or we argue over those solutions. This is the right solution, that’s the right solution.

Jeff:

Our individual solution. Right?

Terry:

Our individual solutions. Instead of coming together and trying to solve problems as a team and saying, “Hey, how do we identify the question, what’s the problem and can we agree on the nature of the problem first before we start talking about what possible solutions are out?”

Jeff:

And here’s what’s crazy, just as an example that I noticed during the last State of The Union Address, the call went out that lower drug prices… We need to get lower drug prices and half of the chamber was like, “Oh yeah, great.” They’re standing and cheering. The other half of the chamber was like, “Oh yeah, there’s sombering.” So I think it’s gone down to a level that we’re missing the underlying mission where in this case it was lower drug prices. So we all not get excited about who lower drug prices. That’s the thing that we have in common that we would all like. Well, I guess 99.9% except I guess if you’re on the receiving end of the drug company, but the vast majority, right? We want lower drug prices. So, is that sort of it trying to find that common point that we can look at, tune out all the noise and then go, “Oh, let’s get after this. Let’s get all about this solution to this problem.”

Terry:

Right. I think… But again, as I said before, I think it’s important to identify what’s the real issue, what’s the real problem underlying all of it. It may be like you said, lower drug prices. It may be something totally different and that may be the reasons why the other side didn’t really clap and cheer and all that stuff because they’re seeing the problem from a different lens. And I think just getting to that place where we talk about what’s the lens I’m seeing the problem through? How do I define the problem? When I’ve worked with couples in my office, a lot of times I’ll ask them, can you both agree on the problem, name the problem and make sure that you’re both agreeing on that first. The next step I have them do is brainstorm. I say, before you come up with a solution, I want you to brainstorm all the possible solutions out there. Don’t, don’t pick out one and say, this is my favorite solution. Just what are all the possible solutions?

Terry:

Sit down with a notepad and say, “Okay, well we could do this or we could do that or we could do this or somebody else could do this.” And list out all the different ones, even if they sound stupid when you say them. Don’t even go through trying to problem solve until you’ve listed all the different possible solutions. Once you’ve thought of the solutions, then start talking about each one of them and the pros and cons of each possible solution. Once you’ve done that, you can kind get to a place where you can vote on your favorite solutions. And a lot of times your number one, two and three are going to look different than my number one, two and three. But we may both agree on the two. “Hey, maybe we’ve got an actual solution that would work there to both of our satisfaction.

Jeff:

All right, right. How do you know when to… And now we’re talking about more of, again in family situations and so forth. How do you know when to speak up and when to keep your mouth shut?

Terry:

That’s a great question. When in doubt keep your mouth shut.

Jeff:

Oh, okay.

Terry:

I tell some of my couples too, God gave us two ears and one mouth and I think that means we’re supposed to listen twice as much as we speak.

Jeff:

Right? Right. Well, and to hear what the other person is saying. So for instance, when I’m talking with somebody, I try to seek their view and really get their heart on it. Where are they coming from?

Terry:

That’s a really good idea.

Jeff:

Because maybe their solution isn’t necessarily the solution I would have at first pass, but… And I’m thinking about somebody in particular when they’re talking about the whole healthcare thing. It’s like, “Well, he has a great heart for people. He really wants to help people.” So again, what can we find in common and how can we get to that common ground? Something also to point out here is sort of the… I guess it’s a perspective thing maybe.

Terry:

Sure.

Jeff:

Everybody’s vote matters. It really does, right? We live in a democracy and it’s really great that we can go out and we can cast a vote, but I think the perspective of matters here to that our votes are one out of millions and that matters, but what really matters, is your life and your one-on-one interactions with people. And so maybe we can dive into that a little bit here because there is a lot of armchair quarterback and if you compare it to sports, we all have our teams, right? Let’s go Iowa, go Cyclones, go Hawks. But at the end of the day, we’re not playing in that game. We’re just cheering them on. And so like the political arena, we can cheer on our favorite politician, but we kind of step back from armchair quarterbacking and look ourselves in the mirror and say, “What can I do? What can I do?” For instance, talk about human rights things or homelessness or whatever.

Jeff:

“What can I do for instance, in terms of homelessness? Where can I get involved?” And I think that’s something that perspective thing, there’s just… And let me just toss this out and see if you agree or disagree Terry. But I just see a lot of lost human potential armchair quarterbacking where we could take that energy and oftentimes very deep energy and really go out and do something with that. So, another question that comes up here is, what do you do when you feel strongly that how someone else votes can negatively affect the direction of the country? You’re passionate about this issue and you’re talking to someone and you’re like, “Oh, why are they…” They’re not getting it. They’re just not getting it.

Terry:

Right. No. I think the question you just asked, it really gets to the heart of why the political climate is such a terrible thing for most people. A lot of people are… You’re sweating this, this is huge. There’s this really, really strong feeling that if you vote the wrong direction and if enough of you’s out there vote the wrong direction, then my country is going to suffer from this. And the perspective and the passion. You’ve got people who… I think if our son and how he really, really dives into this and researches something and he picks the best solution in his mind and it feels like if somebody isn’t going to… If the rest of the world or if somebody else votes the wrong way, then our country is going downhill really, really fast. And I think that’s a really important piece of this whole thing. And what I would say in response to that is to just be aware of how much it plays in the polarizing effect of the media and the news that’s out there.

Terry:

It’s really… When I talk about… When I’m talking with couples, a lot of times what I’m really struggled against with individual couples is this all or nothing thinking that it’s all one thing or it’s all another thing. It’s that all or nothing thinking that gets us into a lot of trouble. What happens with all or nothing thinking, is that it takes a grain of truth, is there a possibility that something bad could happen? Yes, but it takes a grain of truth, but it blows it up to 100%. And it’s saying, “Oh my gosh, if this person gets into the White House or into the Senate or whatever, oh, my gosh our world is ending as we know it kind of feeling. And the reality is that most things are not all or nothing. Most things.

Terry:

If we can just kind of back down a little bit and say, “No, wait a minute.” I think one of the best things to ask yourself is what’s the worst case scenario? What’s the absolute worst case scenario? And then play that forward and ask yourself if that worst case scenario, if this politician gets elected or if this politician gets elected, what’s the worst thing that I can imagine happening and play that forward and ask yourself, how would I survive that or what’s next or what would happen then? We may find that when you play that tape forward in your mind, you find that, “Oh, okay, so the world doesn’t end, the sky’s falling, it may not be my favorite thing, but in another two or four years we can reelect somebody who comes in and fixes things back.” I think it’s just reminding ourselves that the worst case scenarios rarely ever happen.

Jeff:

Right, right. And to keep in perspective, unless you just get raw here for a minute, there’s just a lot of media coverage out there that is just absolutely fueling this and it’s big money, it’s on different media that’s out there and it’s just a lot of talk that sort of fuel for the fire, right? You take the problems, but then you sort of toss this gas that media tosses on this and it really inflames that. Right?

Terry:

And if you step back and ask yourself, what’s the motive for a lot of these things? Whether it’s the news media or it’s the stuff you see on Facebook. Ask yourself, what’s the motive there? In a lot of the cases it’s to sell more advertising. It’s not to get a certain person or a certain idea or to get the country to come together. I’m guessing that most… CNN and Fox and all the other ones that we could name, I’m guessing that they don’t really get a lot of money when everybody speaks nice to each other-

Jeff:

And everybody agrees and-

Terry:

Everybody agrees.

Jeff:

… [inaudible 00:13:21] get along.

Terry:

Right. So, they get more money by more advertisers because they’ve got more viewers because people are inflamed and they encourage that kind of thing. If we just back away from that ourselves individually and say, “I’m not going to keep buying into that, I’m going to listen to both Fox and CNN. I’m going to try to find out, I’m going to try to just read the actual laws that are being passed, I’m going to try to make my own opinions from things.” We don’t get into that black and white thinking.

Jeff:

Well, I think… I come from business world and I think we need to learn something. And really… I learned some of it, it really put our business hats on when we go into the political realm. And that doesn’t say a business person has to be a politician. I’m not saying that, but there are some business principles which really evolve around and focus on solving the problem. Right? If we’ve got an issue going on, if I’ve got a business issue and I have got a situation where there’s something I’ve got to solve, I bring people around the table and we sit down and we come up with solutions for that.

Terry:

Sure. And a lot of that’s happening in our politicians. We don’t realize it because they don’t hit the news. But there are hundreds of bills that get passed that are bi-partisan, they both-

Jeff:

Why?

Terry:

They come around the table, they solve the problems, they meet the needs of the people out there and those things don’t hit the news.

Jeff:

And when they do, they start to get overlooked. And just to raise one up here, specifically, in the last year, the prison reform, that was something that you had people on both sides of the aisle go on, this is really a good step and this has taken years to move that forward. And this is really a positive stuff. So, let’s say, yay. Let’s do more of those kinds of things.

Terry:

When we just look at the negatives, that’s all we see. We go to bed at night with that terrible taste in the back of our stomach. When we try to look at what’s good and what’s bad. A lot of times we have a better outlook.

Jeff:

Right, right. Well, I’m going back to our family members and stuff. Our son and… At the end of the day, my relationship with him is top priority. So, we can see things differently politically, but I have a just locked and loaded in my mind that that relationship is above anything else. So, I think it’s going into that discussion, going into that… If you are a politician, going into that room and sitting around the table and saying relationships are really important here. This mission is really important, but let’s get together and roll up our sleeves and get about doing what we’re here to do in a way that honors each other.

Terry:

In that case, you’re talking two different levels, you’re talking about just around the table, you and your son and then the politicians around the table.

Jeff:

Exactly, yeah.

Terry:

And I think both of them can benefit from that advice.

Jeff:

Both of those. Right, right. Sometimes maybe us folks, us voters need to maybe model this and encourage our politicians to do what could be healthy and helpful. But yeah, politics is temporary and there’s going to be Republicans leading at times, there’s going to be Democrats leading at times, maybe some independents at times. Whatever the party is, but that will change… But really beyond the whole political climate is that eternal perspective and the spiritual matters and the whole reality that there is a spiritual part to our life that we’re only here for a short time and God is in control and people will hear that and go, “Well, yeah, but I don’t really believe that,” but lean into that for a little bit. Just go, “Okay, the sun will come up tomorrow.”

Terry:

Well, we hope so.

Jeff:

We hope so. So, as we’re wrapping up today, let’s tie this back to journey and what we’re here to help with in Journey coaching. Again, Journey coaching is all about intentional healthy relationships. And Terry, did you just want to throw out a thought there of just… The other thing that we should mention here is Terry helped to… And really was instrumental in writing the seventh session coaching workbook for Journey. And just how you see that workbook and people sitting down one-on-one tying into this whole negative political climate and how it might be helpful.

Terry:

Oh, absolutely. I think where it can come in handy is if you’re a person who has been kind of isolated from other people, you’ve been just sitting in front of the TV or just in front of your screen somehow and getting more and more upset over the political climate. Find somebody, find a friend, talk to… Get away from the screen, talk to somebody else from different opinions, get a coach, find somebody who’s willing to sit down with you. We’ve got this really great coaching process, it’s seven sessions where you learn how your story fits in with everybody else’s story and you learn about your strengths and maybe your weaknesses.

Terry:

And you put them all together and try to decide, Basically how do I move forward myself? And it takes your eyes off of the bigger thing, the political climate that’s out there and it gets it back onto how do I work on my own personal relationships and how do I build myself? It really comes down to the relationships we have and how we interact with them on a one on one basis that matters more to our lives than what’s going on in the bigger picture.

Jeff:

Well, that’s a great point Terry, because I think sometimes and we’ve talked about this before, you sort of have to have the discussion before the discussion. I think oftentimes we could all use some help of just how to sit down with another person, another couple, because again, Journey Coaching, do it one-on-one or couple to couple, but just how to have good open, honest conversations, right?

Terry:

Right.

Jeff:

That’s huge.

Terry:

And we’re going to talk about this more in another podcast. We’ve got some ideas coming up and how do we handle disagreements without beating each other up, that sort of thing.

Jeff:

Right,

Terry:

So, I’m looking forward to diving more into that topic-

Jeff:

Right, exactly.

Terry:

… time.

Jeff:

Well, and you talked about… In just closing here, you talked about a journey starts with sharing our stories with each other. And when we look at politics, we are in unison together all Americans. That’s the common thread we have here when we share our stories. And as-

Terry:

Unless you’re listening to this from another country.

Jeff:

That’s right. Would that be fun? But… So yeah, as we’re just trying to navigate this climate, let’s start there realizing that we are all Americans and let’s just talk well and humbly and with patience and to just pull the joy that we do have out of living in this really wonderful country. So, thanks again for listening, we appreciate that. As always, let us know how we can serve you. You can reach out to us in a variety of different ways and you can just check us out on The Journey website, thejourneycoaching.org. Thanks.

Speaker 2:

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